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Nogata-shi

at a glance

Once a thriving coal-producing city, Nogata-shi has evolved into a commuter-friendly center for those traveling to Fukuoka City, Kitakyushu or Tagawa areas.

festivals

Gojinko Matsuri

Early October (Biannual)


Nogata Tulip Festival

Early April


Nogata Hanabi Festival

Early August

getting there

By train, JR Nogata Station lies on the Fukuhoku Yutaka Line. Costing ¥910 to and from JR Hakata Station rapid and local trains take 55 and 70 minutes respectively. Chikuho-Nogata or Chikuho-Ganda Stations on the Chikuho Dentetsu Line has access to Kurosaki in central Kitakyushu. Chikuho-Nogata Station is considered to be separate from the JR Nogata Station despite being close by, while Chikuho-Ganda is closer to the jutaku, about ten minutes from the Bikkuri-ichi towards the river; the Heisei Chikuho Tetsudo is another private line that runs south from Nogata into Tagawa, located next to JR Nogata Station.

From Tenjin area in Fukuoka City and Kokura City in Kitakyushu, there are the Nishitetsu Highway buses (¥1100, about one hour each way) that stop near the jutaku at Ojidanchi in Ganda, on the main road by the Bikkuri-ichi

points of interest

Fukuchiyama 福知山 has great views of Nogata City and its surrounding areas from its summit. Shakudake is another nearby peak, just below Fukuchiyama. Hike from Shakudake to Fukuchiyama in an afternoon. If you are feeling adventurous, try the 40km hike from Mount Sarakura in Kitakyushu to Fukuchiyama. About 25~30 minute taxi ride from JR Nogata Station or follow overhead signs from the station by car.

Gallery Noguchi ギャラリーのぐち is a collection of Japanese arts and crafts shops ideal for traditional Japanese souvenirs, within a ten-minute walk from JR Nogata Station. From JR Nogata Station’s main exit turn right and go straight. 15-16 Tomo-machi. Nogata-shi. 10am-6pm Thurs-Tues • 0949-25-0091 •http://www.gallerynoguchi.co.jp

Kappa-no-yu 河童の湯 is a great artificial onsen with both indoor and outdoor baths giving views to nearby mountains. Next to Aeon, just off Route 200 by car or take a #13 bus labeled イオンモール from Nogata Bus Center, across the street from JR Nogata Station. Get off at Aeon, its final stop. 786-9 Ganda, Nogata-shi. 10am-10pm • 949-26-0013

Nogata Chuo Community Center 直方中央公民館 requires a yearly membership fee but this allows access to weekly ikebana (flower arranging), shodo (calligraphy) and more. Head out from JR Nogata Station towards the river, then turn right at the first main intersection. Proceed to the next main intersection and turn left, the center is on the left. 7-25 Tsuba-machi, Nogata-shi. Hours depends on classes; night classes are usually Tue & Thu 7-9pm • 0949-25-2241

Nogata Coal Memorial Hall 直方石炭記念館 is a museum that depicts the lives of the workers and the history of coal mining from the Meiji period until after the war. A ten-minute walk from JR Nogata Station. Exiting the station turn left, go up the stairs and cross the bridge to the other side of the tracks. Turn left on the other side and follow signs to the museum. 692-4 Oaza Nogata. 9am-5pm Tues-Sun, closed every third Sun • 0949-25-2243

Fukuchi Sanroku Hana Koen 福智山ろく花公園  is a flower park close to Mt. Fukuchiyama. Observe seasonal changes in the array of flowers and plants or relax on surrounding seats. Children might enjoy the playground at the back. Get on bus #7 to Takatorien-mae (たかとり園前) and walk up the hill nearby; 25-minute bus ride and additional 20-minute walk or take a 15-minute taxi ride from JR Nogata Station. Ooaza Eimanji Urinogahara 1498 banchi, Nogata-shi. 9am-5pm Tue to Sun • 0949-25-2241

Nogata Tanio Art Museum  直方谷尾美術館
is an art museum showcasing work from around the globe, with monthly changing exhibitions, conveniently located within the Furumachi arcade. Go straight and turn right on seeing KZ Hair Factory; the museum is on the right. 10-35Tono-machi.9:30am-5:30pmThu-Tue •0949-22-0038


Yumenity Nogata 
is next to Nogata Central Library. It is a great venue to listen to musicians from various places and watch performances in the evening. As you walk out of the main exit of JR Nogata Station, turn left and cross over the white bridge to the other side of the tracks. 364-4 Ooaza Yamabe, Nogata-shi. 9am-10pm, closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month • 0949-25-1007 • http://www.yumenity.jp (in Japanese only)

eating and drinking

Cafes

Cappuccino  has simple delicious food, assorted parfait and super coffee and meals. Go straight into the Furumachi Arcade in front of JR Nogata Station and a sign will appear on your right directing you to the second floor. Meiji-dori, Noguchi-shi. 9am-7pm Thu-Tue?0949-22-6177 •

Coffee Shop Roma
is a solid option for coffee, sandwiches or pasta. From JR Nogata Station head towards the river. Turn right at the first main intersection, then left at the next intersection. Roma is about 50 meters up on the left opposite the post office and next to the Nogata Chuo Kuminkan Community Center. Tsuda-machi, Chikuho-kaikan 1F, Nogata-shi. Opens about 11am-10pm with reservation, otherwise closes 6pm Mon-Sat •
0949-25-2678 •

Restaurants

Asu Narof あすなろ serves healthy, organic dishes and has a weekly changing menu. The meals are mostly vegetarian and they use honey made from their own bees as a key cooking ingredient. Everything is grown on the property and is certified organic. By car it’s a ten-minute drive off the Route 200 bypass, near the Nogata Flower Park or take a 15-minute taxi ride from JR Nogata Station. 583 Hata, Nogata-shi. 11:30am-3pm daily but must make reservation • 0949-28-3020 •http://www15.ocn.ne.jp/~asunarof/

Kara Gome Ya 唐米屋 This reliable izakaya serves decent food, enormous beers and has a convenient point-card system. Softbank Hawks baseball team merchandise is decorated around its entrance. From the JR Nogata Station, cross the road and head into the Furumachi Arcade; make a right on the street lined with snack bars. 15-12 Sanmaruko Building 1F, Furu-machi, Nogata-shi. 5pm-10pm Wed to Mon • 0949-28-0671 •

Marche マルシユ is a small, cozy place specializing in French cuisine. Keep on the right and go down the main street from JR Nogata Station. It’s part of the Furumachi Arcade and is on your right on the corner near a temple. Furumachi, Nogata-shi. 11am-3pm (last order 2pm), 5pm-9pm (last order 8pm) Mon-Sat • 0949-24-6959 •

Umaiya 兎舞夜 offers a wide range of Japanese, Chinese and European food, as well as a selection of courses ideal for parties. For ¥4000 you get a really good traditional Japanese meal and free reign on any drinks for two hours (book ahead). Head into the arcade opposite JR Nogata Station and turn right down the brightly lit snack bar street. Umaiya will appear at the very end, across from a wooden structure karaoke joint. 13-24 Furumachi. 5pm-2am (order stops at 1:30am) • 0949-29-5555 •

Wabisuke わびすけ is a small, traditional Japanese-style sit-down restaurant and bar located in the Furumachi Arcade. Walk into the Arcade and turn right at KZ Hair Factory. Go straight and cross the street; Wabisuke will be on your right. 2-19 Tomo-machi, Nogata-shi • 0949-25-1138 • ¥¥

Bars

The Bar has an English menu and various artists performing live each month. Go straight into the arcade and it is on your right. 7-4, 2F Furumachi. 7pm-1am Mon-Thu, 7pm-2am Fri & Sat • 0949-23-0009 • Eng

Shopping

Aeon/Jusco includes a huge Jusco superstore, an international food store, numerous clothing shops, a ¥100 shop, various restaurants and a movie theater showing a decent range of movies in English and Japanese. Opposite JR Nogata Station take the #13 bus labeled Aeon Mall Nogata (イオンモール直方), or by car it’s located just off the main Route 200. 1715-1 Ganda, 10am-10pm daily • 0949-29-8500

Bikkuri-ichi びっくり市 Also labeled as the ‘Gourmet Carnival’, this farmer’s market sells cheap, fresh fruit and vegetables, a huge array of meat, bargain alcohol and much more. From further away, look out for an animatronic statue of Gulliver dancing with his Lilliputian friends and a 40-foot red “MEAT sign” just off Route 200. From the Nogata Bus Center take the #13 going towards Aeon Mall Nogata (イオンモール直方) and get off at Ochigu (玉子宮) •11 Ganda, Nogata-shi •9am-7pm Fri-Sun • 0949-26-0300

Bikkurisaketen びっくり酒店 is the best place to buy alcohol in the area. Offers a sound selection of reasonably priced wines, sake, shochu, domestic beer, happo-shu and overseas favorites like Coors, Bud, Heineken and Guinness. Pick up a point card here and stock up. Take the #13 bus from Nogata Bus Center heading towards Aeon Mall Nogata (イオンモール直方) and get off at Ochigu (玉子宮). Located inside the Bikkuri-ichi in front .11 Ganda, Nogata-shi. 9am-7pm Fri-Sun • 0949-26-8838

Furumachi Arcade ふるまち通り is a shopping arcade opposite JR Nogata Station. offering various Japanese and foreign foods, a good coffee and traditional Japanese gifts.

Kaldi Coffee Farm is a destination of necessity if you find yourself pining for food items from home such as muesli, Blue Mountain coffee, Thai green curries, goat’s cheese and Tim-Tams. It’s not cheap, but the price paid for facilitating moments of nostalgic bliss for your taste buds is well worth it. The friendly, helpful staff speak some English. Located inside the Nogata Aeon/Jusco shopping mall, catch the #13 bus from Nogata Bus Center heading in that direction. 1715-1 Ganda. 10am-10pm daily • 0949-29-8737

Maruwa Inside this large store is a ¥100 shop, clothing department, grocery store, bakery, florist and small arcade center. However, with Aeon and Bikkuri-ichi in the area, the only real selling point of Maruwa is its proximity to the jutaku. From the Nogata ALT jutaku, ask directions from locals for the nearest 7-Eleven. 1830-1 Tono. 9am-9pm • 0949-26-9800

Entertainment

Aeon’s Toho Cinema is a large multiplex showing a wide selection of foreign films, most in their original versions (not dubbed). Tickets on ladies’ day (every Wednesday) and the first of every month are ¥1000. Sign up for a point card and watch the seventh movie for free. From the Nogata Bus Center, take the #13 bus going to Aeon Mall Nogata  (イオンモール直方). Located next to Tully’s Coffee on the second floor. 1715-1 Ganda. Showing times vary. 0949-29-2211 • http://www.tohotheater.jp/theater/nogata/index.html

Fitness

Kurate-machi Rekishiminzoku Shiryoukan 鞍手町歴史民俗資料館 reveals the long history of Kurate including its coal mining involvement. No English labeling but free of charge. Located 15 minutes from the JR Kurate Station, it’s best to catch a taxi. Omaki, Kurate-machi.  9am-4:30pm, Tue—Sun, closed every third Sunday • 0949-42-3200

Kurate Chuokominkan 鞍手中央民館in Kurate-machi is a dojo (martial arts center) where there are regular kendo, karate and judo classes. Next door is a kyudo (Japanese archery) range where training is usually held twice a week. There is also a complex of several outdoor pools nearby where you can take a dip in the summer months. About ten minutes from JR Kurate Station. Turn left as you exit then go right onto the main road, head away from the river past a book store, then take the first left before 7-Eleven and go up the second ramp on your left. 2105 Omaki • 8:30am-5pm depending upon class • 0949-42-7201

Sei Shin Kan 正心館 is a small judo dojo whose sensei is something of a local legend. Explanations are in Japanese, but you’re likely to receive a warm welcome to his class. As you leave JR Nogata Station turn right, go under the bridge and past a small park, through a traffic light and the dojo is on your left; about ten minutes on foot. Nishi-mon-mae-machi, Nogata-shi. 6pm-7:30pm Tues & Thurs, 4pm-5:30pm Sat • 0949-26-9577

Swimming School Nogami スイミングスクール野上 is a health club with amenities such as aerobics, step and dance classes, treadmills, rowing machines, free weights, swimming classes and two pools. Exit JR Nogata Station and head toward the river. Cross the river and it is on the right. 3868 Tono, Nogata-shi. 9:30am-10pm daily (call first to confirm which days they are closed) • 0949-26-3833

Other

KZ Hair Factory in the Furu-machi Arcade has a friendly staff eager to speak English. Enter Furu-machi Arcade and walk for 5 minutes; it should be in front of you. 5-39 Furu-machi, Nogata-shi. 10am-8pm Thu-Sat, 10am-5pm Tue & Wed • Free Dial 0120-61-1786

Nogata Christian Center 直方クリスチャンセンター is about five to ten minutes from JR Nogata Station. It holds both Sunday school and English bible readings at 9:30am every Sunday. From JR Nogata Station, go straight towards the river. At the first major intersection, turn right and cross the Kanrokubashi bridge and the center is on the right. 1-2-2 Mizobori. English Bible study and Sunday morning service begin at 9:30am and 11am respectively • 0949-24-8942 • http://church.ne.jp/nogata/